Thursday, October 20, 2011

Post-Game: Game #6 Wild 2 Oilers 1 (SO)

Scoring Summary
1st Period
EDM Ryan Jones 2 (Ryan Smyth) 16:06

2nd Period

3rd Period
MIN Dany Heatley 2 (Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Devin Setoguchi) 19:58

OT Period

EDM Jordan Eberle shootout saved
MIN Matt Cullen shootout goal
EDM Ryan Nugent-Hopkins shootout saved
MIN Pierre-Marc Bouchard shootout saved
EDM Eric Belanger shootout miss

Shots On Goal - Oilers 32 Wild 32

Game Notes:
- The Oilers are in a very festive mood this week. After giving away points to the Flames, they gave away some to the Wild as well. Tonight was more about bad luck than anything. They were 1.2 seconds away from everything being right in the world. Dany Heatley's sifter from the side of the net beat Khabibulin, loss the shootout and the rest is history. The bigger problem the Oilers are facing right now is a real lack of goals. The puck luck around the net just isn't there. Missed open nets, fanned one-timers, hitting posts and crossbars are all adding to the demise. I found it kind of ironic that Belanger's shootout attempt went off the post after a great move, sealing the fate for the Oilers this night. All the Oilers can do is ride it out. Its painful to watch but we are starting to see a lot of the pieces are there now. The center play this year has been far superior to the group they were running out there last year. Its a big reason why the goals against is way down. The Oilers really need the big 3 (Hall, Paajarvi and Eberle) to get going offensively. The offense has dried up offensively for RNH, the goals just aren't there right now and the kids are going to need to deliver there somehow. Does this team miss Ales Hemsky? It does a bit, but it shouldn't be crippling the offense to the point we are seeing now. I know the media is ready to pounce on that story ASAP, but I don't think Hemsky is the difference right now. The difference is trying to dig down that little bit deeper and making sure that will to win is there, that killer instinct. The Oilers have to know that 1 goal isn't enough to win every hockey game. The bigger thing is for the Oilers to keep their defensive structure strong, I do believe the goals will come around. They just need to recognize the opportunities better and seize them.

Player of the Game:
- Ryan Jones. Khabibulin was a second and a half from getting this but that goal was pretty unforgivable in what he gave up. Ryan Jones and the 3rd line were solid all night, battling their faces off and contributing the only goal the 3rd line was getting this night. I have been impressed with this line over this past week and I think the third line has been found in Smyth-Horcoff-Jones. Good work boys. The Oilers need a shutdown line and they have delivered this week.

Goat of the Game:
- Ladislav Smid. I thought long and hard on this one. The game was flawless for 59:58 until Smid turned his back on Heatley and followed a less dangerous Setoguchi around the net while Heatley got one more poke at the puck. Setoguchi was not a threat on that play and would have likely ran out of time to make any other play. Smid needs to make better reads if he wants to be a true lockdown Dman. That two plays over the last two games that cost the Oilers points. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Khabibulin gets a HM here, but how can you fault a guy for giving up one goal in 65 minutes of action, even if it was an ugly one?

Next Game - Saturday October 22, 2011 vs. Rangers @ Rexall Place on CBC.

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